NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were first presented in 1979 when Neville Wran was Premier, and his ten successors have kept them up. I’ve been following the awards since Bob Carr’s day – eight premiers ago – and even been to some award night dinners, and a couple of the recent more parsimonious events. This year’s shortlist has been announced, and can be read on the State Library website with some clicking back and forth. As a public service to my handfuls of readers, here’s the list on one screen (links take you direct to the judges’ comments on Library’s website, plus in a very few cases to my blog posts). It’s a huge reading list. Please give your pick in the comments.

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction

Highly commended

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing

Highly commended

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry

Highly commended

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature

  • Philip Bunting, Me, Microbes and I (Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing)
  • Peter Carnavas, My Brother Ben (University of Queensland Press)
  • Christopher Cheng, Stephen Michael King, Bear and Rat (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Karen Foxlee, Dragon Skin (Allen & Unwin)
  • Morris Gleitzman, Always (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Kirli Saunders, Bindi (Magabala Books)

Highly commended

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature

Highly commended

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting

  • Kodie Bedford, Cursed! (Belvoir Street Theatre) – my blogpost here
  • James Elazzi, Queen Fatima (National Theatre of Parramatta/Australian Plays Transform)
  • Eliaas Jamieson Brown, Green Park (Griffin Theatre Company)
  • Finegan Kruckemeyer, Hibernation (State Theatre Company of South Australia/Currency Press)
  • Kirsty Marillier, Orange Thrower (Griffin Theatre Company and National Theatre of Parramatta/Currency Press)
  • Ian Michael, Chris Isaacs, York (Black Swan State Theatre Company)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting

Multicultural NSW Award

Highly commended

Indigenous Writers’ Prize

Highly commended

Thee’s no shortlist for the People’s Choice Award, the Book of the Year, or the possible surprise of the evening, the Special Award

4 responses to “NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist

  1. Well, the only category I have read sufficiently to make any judgement is fiction. I would have had either or both of Love Objects and Believe in Me rather than The Performance which I thought was rather ordinary.
    And I must get hold of a copy of True Tracks by Terri Janke. She is the first indigenous novelist I ever read, way back when everyone else was writing memoir. so I consider her a trailblazer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re well ahead of me, Lisa. I can’t say anything sensible about any of the list, except that the three books of poetry I’ve read are all terrific.


      • Well, we all have our own fields of interest, and that’s a good thing.
        I admit to feeling vaguely discomfited if I haven’t read any of the listed books. Usually I know of the books, and I’ve chosen not to read them because I don’t think I’d like them. (Sometimes I get them out from the library, only to find that I was right, that I don’t like them and they go back to the library unread.)
        But when I’ve never heard of them, I wonder if I’m getting out of touch…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only read a couple of books on the whole list, but I would be happy to see Leaping Into Waterfalls take out the bio award. It was tremendous.

    Liked by 1 person

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